Historic Navy PT boat saved from sinking at Rose Fest

ASTORIA, Ore.— The restored Navy motor torpedo boat PT-658 was saved from sinking after a multi-agency effort Sunday at the 2009 Portland Rose Festival in Portland, Ore.

The crew of PT-658 had just returned to the dock after taking visitors on a short cruise when flooding was discovered aboard the vessel. All of the visitors were safely evacuated to shore while Cmdr. Russ Proctor, Coast Guard Sector Portland Deputy Commander, who happened to be aboard the vessel for the cruise, coordinated damage control efforts.

The crews of Coast Guard vessels attending the festival were able to get damage control equipment to the PT 658 while a damage control team from the Navy Destroyer Shoup arrived to assist with stopping the flooding. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, Portland Fire Department and the crew of the sternwheeler Portland aided the vessel as well. Coast Guard Sector Portland sent marine inspectors to determine the extent of damage to the vessel.

The PT 658 moors at the Swan Island Navy Reserve dock in Portland. It was built in 1944 and has been featured at the Portland Rose Festival for five years. Motor torpedo boats like the PT-658 were used to fire torpedoes at larger ships during World War II earning their crews the nickname “The Mosquito Fleet.” More information about the PT-658 can be found at http://www.savetheptboatinc.com/.

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